While the Sydney-based twosome AViVAA might be considered small, their sound is anything but. In creating AViVAA, Aviva Payne and Matais Coulter have created a group whose melodies will stay with you long after the song’s conclusion. Influences of their favorite artists can be heard in each of their tracks, yet AViVAA produces a distinct musical style and sound that has never been heard before. Listening to an AViVAA song is an experience that will take you to another time and place. We had the chance to talk to Aviva Payne, the group’s principal lyricist, to try and grasp the brilliance that is AViVAA. BY REGINA WUNG
Cliché: How did AViVAA come into being?
Aviva Payne: Matais and myself met one night at a gig in the city. We eventually decided to try make some music together and came up with our first single, “Reel Me In.” After that, it all seemed to just easily slide together and AViVAA was born.
How did each of you get your start in music?
We’ve both been playing music our whole lives, growing up in musical households. Matais studied audio-engineering at university and I trained in classical vocal studies for 5 years. We also are both training with our own instruments—myself, violin and piano, and Matais, drums and guitar—among the other plethora of instruments… Neither of us are one-trick ponies!
Can you tell us a bit about your song-writing process?
We work together writing the songs, but I focus mainly on melody and lyrics and Matais works on the music and production side of things. But we’re a team, so we always help each other out, offer feedback, that sort of thing… welcome or not. [laughs]
All of your songs link back to the theme of control. What drew you to this idea of being in control vs. losing control?
Control and loss of control and being out of control—to me, that is what the human experience is about. My lyrics, like any written word, mean something different to everybody that hears them—that’s the beauty of language and its vice. The fact that everything can mean anything—that’s like the epitome of uncontrollable to me. That is what fascinates me.
Who are some of your favorite artists and influences?
Everything you hear influences you and I think our combined list of favorite artists would be wayyy too long! I suppose we’ll pick two each. One ‘older’ and one newer: I love The Smiths and Florence and the Machine, and Matais loves Pink Floyd and Kimbra.
What is your favorite lyric that you’ve written?
Some of my favorites would be on songs we haven’t released yet! Of what is out there, I think our song “Graveyards” would hold a lyrical soft spot for me… “See the liquid fall the cracks in the floorboards / like my blood through your fingers / you told me to stay / I tried to go”… “No sound dared disturb that of you and my broken bleeding heart / lying still not in slumber.”
Do you have any upcoming projects?
We are releasing our next single sometime in June, which we are super excited about! And probably have a sneaky EP happening at the end of the year.
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AViVAA Interview: Photographed by Zac Kadori